Dominat India look to extend lead against England

Published: Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 15:43 [IST]
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Kanpur: On a high after two comprehensive wins, India would look to extend its domination over England with some strong all-round performances from both its batsmen and bowlers, while the visitors have many things to sort out, the foremost of which would be to find a chink in the technique of Yuvraj Singh, when the two sides take on each other in the third ODI at Green Park stadium here tomorrow.

India rode on Yuvraj's two blistering centuries in the opening two matches to go two-up in the seven-match ODI series, but with the one-paced bowling attack that the England team has, the lead could be extended here especially the kind of form that the Indian batsmen are in.

The home team, which has a great ODI record in the past few months, is likely to bring in Ishant Sharma who had to sit out of the first two matches because of an ankle injury. But his inclusion might see the exit of either Munaf Patel or RP Singh.

Munaf could well get a nod to play in the third tie considering the form that RP Singh has shown in the two opportunities that has got in the series so far.

The India batting order is unlikely to see any change as the batsmen are in top form and India would first like to seal the series and then give chances to the players sitting on the bench.

Broad out to stop sensational Yuvraj

However, the most worrying factor for the England team would be to keep the Indian batsmen under control especially Yuvraj, who must be giving nightmares to the visitors after his two match-winning knocks of 138 and 118 in the ODIs at Rajkot and Indore.

The England bowlers had their nose in front in the second game at Indore after they reduced India to 29 for three but Yuvraj's heroics came to the home team's rescue and the hosts piled up a formidable 292 for nine.

While the going has been quite easy for the Indians, the England are falling behind in both bowling and batting. The visitors are heavily dependent on captain Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and Paul Collingwood but all three of them are yet to put up something exceptional in the series.

The only positive that could be drawn from the two matches that have been played so far would be Ravi Bopara, who has played some good knocks down the order for the visitors.

Ishant Sharma will play in Kanpur ODI

England will accept the inevitability of spin bowlers on Indian wickets and tomorrow the visitors might include Graeme Swann, a specialist spin bowler, for the first time as they seek to recover from the two defeats.

The visitors are likely to make at least one change in personnel and possibly more in the batting order tomorrow. They have erred in omitting Graeme Swann and over-estimating the danger of Samit Patel, who has greater potential as a batting all-rounder than a frontline spinner.

James Anderson has been largely ineffective on pitches offering no seam movement and conditions have not helped swing. Stephen Harmison has also struggled to impose himself. England's left-arm pacer Ryan Sidebottom, who was forced to sit out of the two opening matches due to an Achilles injury, had to go for a back scan here and considering his ODI record this year, his team would be desperate to utilise his services.

The biggest concern on the batting front lies in the relatively sedate approach to the early overs. Atleast one out of Pietersen, Flintoff and Collingwood need to bat in top three so as to utilise the initial overs as the approach of their openers Matt Prior and Ian Bell does not even come close to aggressive.

The curator Shiv Kumar at the Green Park stadium here has already predicted another high-scoring match and said the wicket would last for the 100 overs.

He said the toss might not matter a lot because the wicket would remain same throughout the day but the team winning the toss would certainly be inclined to bat first.

Teams: India (from): Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c, wk), Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh

England (from): Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wk), Owais Shah, Kevin Pietersen (c), Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steve Harmisson, Ryan Sidebottom.


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